Toning and balancing
Cedarwood oil has a pleasant balsamic and woody aroma with earthy undertones and is used extensively in perfumery. This ancient, antiseptic and astringent oil tones the skin, helps to balance sebum production and clear the skin and scalp.
‘Cedarwood’ is an umbrella name for oils and absolutes distilled from the wood of many different conifers, belonging to the Cupressaceae or the Pinaceae families. Traditionally, the oil is distilled from the Atlas cedar, a very tall tree, growing in North Africa. This is the tree used to produce the cedarwood absolute found in Lush products. However, the essential oils are steam distilled from the wood of two other species, resulting in different scents with different notes to play with.
One of the oils comes from the variety Cupressus funebris, a tall tree originating from China and producing an oil with smoky notes. The other oil is distilled from the Virginian variety (Juniperus virginiana), a large cedar originating from North America, with a distinctive red trunk. Its oil is a little sweet and is closer to the scent of sandalwood with a dry side provided by a soothing aromatic compound called cedrene.
Aromatherapists believe that cedarwood has a sedative and balancing effect on the nervous system. It has been used in meditation to relax and harmonise the mind.